<ol> <LI>Poultry Meat Safety: Production, processing, and packaging safety of poultry meat, through bacterial intervention strategies, chemical, biological, engineering, and nutritional aspects. <LI> Poultry Meat Quality: Improving meat quality through application of technologies and processes. <LI>Egg Quality and Safety: To identify methods and procedures to improve and maintain the quality and safety of shell eggs and egg products.
Non-Technical Summary: The control of Listeria monocytogenes in pre-cooked poultry meats has gained urgency in recent years because of frequent listeriosis outbreaks and product recalls. Irradiation is the best post-cook intervention method to control pathogens but changes flavor and taste, which impacts consumer acceptance of cooked poultry meats negatively. Understanding the off-flavor/taste mechanisms will be critical in developing methods that can minimize quality changes in irradiated cooked poultry meat, which is important for improving consumer acceptance. Use of irradiation will improve the safety of cooked poultry meat significantly. <P> Approach: To develop methods that can prevent quality changes and improve the safety and consumer acceptance of irradiated cooked poultry meat, and to elucidate the mechanisms of flavor/taste changes and to characterize the compounds responsible for the off-flavor/taste development in irradiated cooked poultry meat, the sources of off-flavor/off-taste compounds production by irradiation will be determined using model systems prepared with major meat components and meat fractions. The compounds newly produced or significantly changed by irradiation will be identified and characterized and the results will be used to deduce the changes taking place in meat by irradiation and evaluate the contribution of those compounds to the flavor/taste changes in irradiated cooked poultry meat.